Friday, July 21, 2017

Fabulous Flamingo by Tandra Boyer

I wanted to share a few of the swaps I received back recently. This gorgeous card features lots of Polished Stone Technique on Glossy Paper. My friend Tandra has such a gift for watercoloring, and I love the way she made the background piece behind the die cut opening, as well as the gorgeous flamingo!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ASEA Healthy Wednesdays: Essential Oils

Did you know that inhalation is the most effective method for absorbing essential oils?

". . .molecules of essential oil constituents travel along the olfactory nerves and into the brain itself, by-passing the so-called blood-brain barrier." Read more at the Tisserand Institute.

Essential oils are everywhere these days! Your friends are probably selling them, or at least using them! I've been using essential oils for more than 10 years, and I'd like to share a little bit of what I've learned.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. Essential oils are not automatically safe because they are "natural." Lots of poisons are from plants! So do your research and use safe essential oil practices.

First rule: Never use an essential oil neat (undiluted). You can cause a chemical burn or an allergic reaction, or trigger a sensitivity which will prevent you from using that oil again.

Second rule: Never ingest essential oils unless under the care of a *licensed* practitioner. Your consultant doesn't count.

If you'd like to learn more about essential oil safety, visit

Ok, now with that said, essential oils can be a great way to improve your quality of life! There is no "one great source" for essential oils. Lots of very reputable companies have been around a long time, and they are selling very high-quality oils. My favorite is Plant Therapy, but Mountain Rose Herbs and Bulk Apothecary are both great too.

I will continue to share what I know about essential oils, wellness, and healthy living both here and on my AskAmyASEA Facebook page. Please follow or subscribe to get the latest updates!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy Birthday Gorgeousness!

Can we ever have enough birthday cards? I don't think so! It's what I use the most.

These are samples from Stampin Up of the set Happy Birthday Gorgeous. I just love the colors and the layouts--this set is on the list for my next order! The Happy Birthday thinlit has already seen lots of use in my crafting. It's a great size, and the font is fun!

You get 32 stamps in the set!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Watercolor Backgrounds Become Actual Cards!

I hope this isn't too shocking, but I actually USED some of my special watercolor backgrounds to make cards! It's so fun to mess around with watercolor that I sometimes forget to take the next step and turn them into something.

The card on the left is a Brusho background, and I added just a strip of Calypso Coral ribbon and one of the new Lovely Words die cuts.  They only cut the center image out of the cardstock, so I added a stitched oval to cut out the entire piece.

For the card on the right, I knew I wanted to stamp florals in black, which would entail using my MISTI. Why? because watercolor paper is too bumpy to get a good, solid black image unless you can re-stamp your image a few times. The MISTI allows me to re-stamp as many times as I need to, without having to mourn a splotchy image.

My Soft Sayings kit has been calling my name lately. As usual, I am afraid to use it because I might mess it up, but the stamps are safe! So I brought them out to play. I had to hand draw the stems and leaves (as if you couldn't tell) because I wanted to crowd the flowers all together. I also added a bit of Fine Tip glue on the flower centers to give it a little dimension.

Includes set of 15 photopolymer stamps, clear stamp block, 20 printed card bases and coordinating printed envelopes, giftable kraft box, die-cut accents, Stampin' Spot, Baker's Twine, washi tape, Stampin' Dimensionals

You can also buy refills for the Soft Sayings kit, and I am probably going to do that so I can quit being a chicken about using it.

If you have any favorite background panels or pieces of Designer Series Paper hanging around your desk, try putting just a couple things on them and sending them out to people you care about.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ASEA Healthy Wednesdays: Asthma and Allergies

I suffer from asthma. Both my parents had it, and so does my older brother. Mostly, for me, it's a mild thing, only brought on by extremely bad air quality or a virus. But oh, when those things get me triggered, I am in a BAD way. Unfortunately, I have also had bad reactions to a few inhalers. So what does an asthma sufferer do? No one wants to just *survive* on constant asthma medications, with all their lovely side effects. I wanted to breathe again, to sing again, to live without daily pharmaceuticals.

Here's some advice from Robertson D. Ward, M.D. FAAFP, The Redox Doc:

The most promising novel therapeutic strategies now target the correction of REDOX abnormalities in treating asthma. People with asthma have very low levels of endogenous antioxidants like SOD and catalase. The airway tissues are under oxidative stress so massive that inflammation develops through the airways. It is so severe that in ICU’s today doctors measure the amount of REDOX molecules (nitrous oxide) in exhaled air to measure the severity of the case from hour to hour. Genetic factors that cause the expression of antioxidant gene polymorphisms are linked to susceptibility.

The immune system seems to be confused about who is a friend (tissues) and who
it should attack, and the endothelium of the airways becomes a target for attack resulting in inflammation. Insufficient cellular communication is a root cause, and, of course, is related to imbalances of REDOX molecules. Supplementing with certain molecules can restore opportunities for the body to balance the molecules and restore homeostasis. Sinus allergies have similar pathways of disease in different tissues.

*** For more information visit: ***

All illnesses and chronic health challenges are due to an imbalance in cell communication. Fixing the imbalance can be tricky. Most pharmaceutical solutions have side effects, which trigger new imbalances, and a cascade effect begins.

Redox signaling molecules help restore cellular communication. Without side effect, without toxicity of any kind. My quality of life has improved beyond what I ever hoped.

I would love it if you followed my ASEA Facebook page! I share ASEA information, healthy recipes, new health research, wellness tips, and other information regarding improving our health and quality of life!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Copper Options on the Way to a Swap

This was one of my prototypes for my big swap project. I thought you might like to see that designing is a process, and sometimes it takes a few tries! Here's another one:

I just had to keep trying things out to see what I liked. I still like this one, but it wasn't the dramatic effect I was going for.

Here is the final product, which I shared in late June.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

June Paper Pumpkin Alternatives

The June Paper Pumpkin kit--One in a Melon--has so many possibilities! I cut up the boxes to use as backgrounds, the watermelon tissue paper (how cute is that?) for a layer, and the cards themselves so I could make them full-size.

Whether you make up the projects according to the instructions or go out on your own, Paper Pumpkin is a great value! I look forward to every month.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ASEA Healthy Wednesdays: Chia Seeds!

I decided to change my Wednesday posts to "ASEA Healthy Wednesdays" to reflect a broader focus on wellness. ASEA will still be the backbone of my approach to living a healthier life, but there are many other great things we can eat and do to increase our good health.

This week's focus is on Chia seeds. Have you heard of them? You may remember the old "ch-ch-ch-Chia" commercials from years ago. You spread a paste of Chia seeds on a ceramic animal and let them sprout. Well, Chia has come a long way since then!

I've been using Chia seeds for more than 6 years, and they are one of the easiest and least expensive superfoods you can add to your diet. Chia seeds absorb many times their weight in water, and retain it! That's what made them great for sprouting on Chia pets, and that's also what makes them so great for your health.

Why should you be eating them?

1--Chia seeds are a complete food, meaning they contain all the amino acids you need to help you digest the protein contained within them. They are very easy to digest and do not need to be ground up before use.

2--Chia seeds make you feel full, which helps you eat less!

3--Chia seeds are full of fiber, so if you have troubles with constipation, this is the best answer I've ever found! Eat 1-2 tablespoons of Chia (in or with liquids) a day and never experience the worry and discomfort of constipation again.

4--Chia seeds help you stay hydrated. That same quality of holding liquid that made them great for sprouting on Chia pets makes them even better for your body! Marathon athletes have been using Chia gel (just Chia seeds in water or liquid) for years to help them maintain hydration.

5--Chia seeds are nutrient dense, meaning they give you tons of nutrition for very little cost and trouble.

1 ounce (about 2 tbsp) of Chia seeds provides:

    Fiber: 11 grams.
    Protein: 4 grams.
    Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
    Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
    Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
    Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
    Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
Less amazing but still important amounts of Zinc, Niacin, Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2 can also be found in Chia seeds.

(nutrition information courtesy of Authority Nutrition)

I add Chia seeds to my protein shakes, dip my fruit in them, put them on salads, and add them to tea. There are all kinds of recipes out there for Chia seeds, but I think finding a way to incorporate them into what you already eat makes the best change in diet.

Chia seeds are easy to find--check your local grocery store or health food store. You can even buy them on amazon.